Chemicals in Our Lives Effect Your Gold Plated Jewelry
Perfumes, creams, lotions, and makeup all contain substances than can affect plated jewelry. Some soaps and detergents are stronger and harsher than others. Certain fruits and vegetables are acidic. Some are more alkaline.
The point is, any substance that isn’t PH neutral can potentially affect your plated jewelry. I’m no chemist, but I can offer you a few suggestions to extend the life of your gold plating.
Ten Ways to Extend the Life of Your Gold Plated Jewelry
1. Wash your hands before putting on or taking off plated jewelry.
2. Put on gold plated earrings after you’ve applied your perfume.
3. Put on your plated jewelry after you have applied lotion or put on makeup.
4. Take off your plated rings or bracelets before chopping tomatoes for dinner.
5. You also might want to remove your plated jewelry before changing junior’s diaper.
6. Avoid rubbing plated bracelets and necklaces against each other. Try to prevent plated rings from banging into counter tops and rubbing against car keys buried in pockets and purses.
7. Don’t swim in your plated jewelry. See below.
8. Don’t wear your plated jewelry when you’ll be sweating profusely. Covered later.
9. Clean your plated jewelry gently, and don’t rub it. Covered later.
10. Store your gold plated jewelry in a pouch or soft cloth separate from other jewelry
Seriously, Water can Hurt Your Plating
The chlorine and other chemicals added to swimming pools and hot tubs can also produce adverse effects. Ocean salt water can effect plating, as well. The ocean thing is a long shot, but if you swim regularly in the ocean it will speed the breakdown of your plating.
Remove your plated jewelry before swimming in chlorine laden water, be it the neighbor’s backyard swimming pool or a patio Jacuzzi. You’re probably fine swimming in the local reservoir, or skinny dipping in a water hole.
Perspiration and Your Personal PH level
Last but not least, one’s own body chemistry can be harsh on plating. Just like fruit, some people are more acidic than others. Depending on one’s diet, it’s not uncommon for chemicals perspired through the pores of the skin to cause plated jewelry to tarnish and discolor.
Some people sweat more than others. Jill works out for two hours every day. Joyce is a CPA riding a desk. Jill would be wise to remove her plated rings before going to the gym. Joyce, on the other hand, is stylishly safe wearing her plated bracelets and necklaces while crunching numbers.
Cleaning Your Plated Jewelry
Plated jewelry should be cleaned periodically. Even if you’re sure your ring hasn’t been exposed to any of the aforementioned substances, it’s been in contact with your skin—which does perspire.
Wash plated jewelry with warm water. Use a mild soap only if necessary. Getting junk out of nooks and crannies with an old, soft toothbrush is Okay. If you need to use toothpaste use a gentle one with no whitening agents or abrasives in it.
Be gentle and don’t rub too hard. I’ve seen examples of gold plated jewelry where vigorous rubbing with a polishing cloth took off some of the gold plating.
In some cases WD-40 is a good cleaner for gold plated jewelry. It’s tougher on dirt and sticky substances than gentler dish soap.